MEDINA — A high-scoring basketball player, a standout runner, two soccer stars and a three-sport athlete who began his high school career 50 years ago comprise the 2018 Medina County Sports Hall of Fame induction class.
Former Highland forward Brad Reusch, Wadsworth cross country trailblazer Kari (Eaton) Pinkowski, soccer standouts Paige Maxwell of Medina and Jessica Rooma of Cloverleaf and Buckeye multisport athlete Alan Kiene were selected for induction Thursday in a vote of Gazette sports staff members, county athletic directors and Medina Breakfast Kiwanis Club representatives.
They will be honored June 14 at a banquet at The Galaxy Restaurant in Wadsworth, where the annual Al Thomas Award will be presented to longtime Buckeye athletic boosters Glen and Patty Reisner and team recognition will go the 1998 Wadsworth softball team.
All high school athletes who receive first-team All-Gazette recognition in 2017-18 also will be recognized and male and female Senior Athlete of the Year winners will be announced. Special Olympic Athletes of the Year will be honored as well.
The 6-foot-5 Reusch, a 1998 Highland graduate, ranks second in county history with 1,525 points scored, including 547 as a senior, when he averaged 24.9 and led the Hornets to a Suburban League championship, their first conference title since 1956.
Mixing 3-pointers with post moves and resounding dunks, the left-hander averaged 21.8 points as a junior, 16.1 as a sophomore and 6.3 as a freshman. The Hornets compiled a 54-36 record over his four-year career after going 204-505 over the previous 36 seasons.
Reusch went on to play at Yale, where he was in the rotation and averaged 4.1 points as a freshman. The Bulldogs then underwent a coaching change and Reusch played in just three games as a sophomore before eventually leaving the Ivy League school.
Pinkowski, a 1999 Wadsworth graduate, is the only four-time Gazette MVP in girls cross country. She went on to earn two letters in the sport — and two in track — at the University of Notre Dame. She was a cum laude graduate of Notre Dame, earned a master’s degree from Northwestern and ran in the Boston Marathon in 2014 and ’15.
While at Wadsworth, Pinkowski earned four letters each in cross country, swimming and track. She was a four-time All-Ohio selection in the former and was the county record holder in cross country (18:31) and the 3,200 meters (11:31) when she graduated.
Maxwell, a 2008 Medina graduate, earned All-America, All-Ohio and Gazette MVP honors as a senior. She was a four-time All-Gazette and All-Pioneer Conference selection.
Maxwell went on to play at Ohio State, where she was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and third-team All-America as a junior in 2010. She finished her career with the Buckeyes ranked fifth in points, sixth in goals and 14th in assists.
Rooma, a 2005 Cloverleaf graduate who picked up four letters in soccer and also starred in basketball, was Gazette MVP and second-team All-Ohio in soccer as a senior. She was a four-time All-Gazette, All-Suburban League and all-district selection on the pitch.
Rooma went on to a stellar career at Wright State, where she became the first player in school history to be a four-time All-Horizon League and all-regional pick.
Kiene, a 1971 Buckeye graduate, was a standout in football, basketball and baseball.
On the gridiron, he was Gazette MVP as a senior after serving as quarterback/safety/punt returner for the Bucks and leading the county with 104 points. He was also All-Gazette as a junior and still ranks sixth in school history with 170 career points.
In basketball, the 5-10, 160-pound Kiene was first-team All-Gazette as a senior and a second-team choice as a junior. He finished his three-year career with 862 points, which still ranks fifth in school history. More impressive, Kiene put up that total in an era when teams played 18 regular-season games — he played 57 games in his career — and there was no 3-point line.
In baseball, Kiene was a first-team All-Gazette pick as a junior and senior and a second-team choice as a freshman and sophomore. The shortstop/catcher/pitcher helped lead the Bucks to the regional semifinals as a senior and the district finals as a sophomore while batting approximately .400 for his career.
Team recognition will go to the 1998 Wadsworth softball program, which finished 22-6 and reached the Division I state semifinals, where the Grizzlies fell 5-0 to eventual state champion North Canton Hoover.
Coached by Phil Horrisberger, the Grizzlies featured the aggressive baserunning of senior twins Tammy and Debbie Young, along with catcher Jamie Reder and pitcher Katie Weyand.
Glen and Patty Reisner, both 1972 Buckeye graduates, will share the Al Thomas Award, given annually to someone who has made major contributions to high school sports in a non-playing or non-coaching manner.
Glen served as Buckeye’s athletic director for nine years before retiring in July, but he and wife Patty, who runs concession stand operations, remain heavily involved in the district’s athletic programs.
The Reisners were charter members of the nonprofit Consolidation Boosters, a group that raised nearly $1 million from 2005-08 so Buckeye still could offer high school sports after the district had eliminated funding due to financial restraints.
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